Raymond Colmenar, Steve Eldred, Tamu Jones, Judi Larsen, Lauren Padilla-Valverde, Castle Redmond, JD, and Dr. Sandra Witt
The California Endowment
The California Endowment announced the new program management team that will lead the foundation work on its “Beyond 2020 Plan,” a 10-year plan which commences April 1, 2021. The upcoming plan will emphasize the support of power building as a strategy to achieve racial equity in health in California. The new program director team members are as follows:
Raymond A Colmenar, Managing Director: Inclusive Development and North Region will shape and oversee The Endowment’s statewide strategy for promoting Inclusive Community Development; and leading and supporting The Endowment’s regional team in the Bay Area and Northern California. Previously, Mr. Colmenar served as a Director for Healthy California, The Endowment’s statewide team on policy. Prior to joining The Endowment, he was Associate Director at PolicyLink and has also served as Senior Research Associate with The Rockefeller Foundation, Executive Director for the South of Market Problem Solving Council, and as Policy Analyst for the San Francisco Department of Human Services.
Steve Eldred, Managing Director: Health Systems, Southern Region will lead the Southern California regional team and will be responsible for managing statewide strategy for Health Systems. He has 19 years of experience with The Endowment in the Communities First, Health Disparities, and Building Healthy Communities programs. Mr. Eldred has served on the Board of San Diego Grantmakers for the past eight years and in leadership roles in a number of philanthropic collaborations, including the Binational Immigration Workgroup, Social Equity Collaborative Fund, San Diego Neighborhood Funders, Orange County Health Funders Partnership, and San Diego Grantmakers’ Coming Home To Stay prison reentry task force. Prior to joining The Endowment, Mr. Eldred was Health Planning and Program Specialist for the San Diego County Department of Health Service’s Office of AIDS Coordination; Senior Planner for the Hawaii Governor’s Committee on AIDS and Hawaii Department of Health Services; and Program Director for the Quileute Indian Nation.
Tamu Jones, Managing Director: Justice Reinvestment and Los Angeles Region will manage The Endowment’s statewide justice reinvestment strategy. She will also lead a team of program staff who will develop grantmaking strategies for the greater Los Angeles, California region. Since joining The California Endowment in 2011, Ms. Jones has promoted health equity by directing grantmaking portfolios to support grassroots power building, policy advocacy, and systems change at the local, regional, and statewide level. In her previous role as Senior Program Manager with the statewide justice team, she helped to design and implement grantmaking strategies to advance a community-defined vision of healing, justice, and safety that is focused on redirecting resources from punishment to prevention. Embedded in this approach is a recognition that repairing the racialized harm of criminalization and mass incarceration is necessary to create the conditions that ensure all Californians can thrive. Ms. Jones also oversaw the grantmaking strategy for the South Los Angeles site of The Endowment’s 10-year place-based initiative, Building Healthy Communities.
Previously, Ms. Jones was Program Officer at the California Community Foundation where she directed and managed the foundation’s health portfolio. She also worked in public health with the City of Pasadena Public Health Department and Contra Costa County Health Services Department where she coordinated and managed health improvement initiatives and policy development projects which relied on strategic collaborations with the community to address issues such as violence prevention, substance use prevention, and access to care.
Judi Larsen, Managing Director: CEO Office will oversee the grantmaking and strategy implementation for the CEO office which includes CEO Reserve, Board Grants, Disaster Response, Program Related Investment (PRI) that supports vital community infrastructure grants, and the President’s Youth Council. She has worked for The Endowment in San Diego, Imperial, and Orange counties in California to ensure kids of color and low-income kids are successful in schools. Her recent work includes the implementation of the PRI strategy, the Endowment’s statewide strategy, and the Spread and Scale strategy (in Kern, Sacramento, San Diego, and Monterey, California) with a focus on a health and racial equity framework.
Ms. Larsen has worked on community health projects for the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, and Community Pediatrics in partnership with a range of community-based organizations and worked to develop coalitions to tackle health disparities with a broad range of stakeholders. She has worked on a range of school-based health projects, including advancing youth and parent participation in school decision making and elevating the Local Control Funding Formula work as an element of The Endowment’s school work, advancing health and wellness policy and environmental strategies such as better nutrition in schools. She is committed to the role and leadership of community residents to advance and advocate for solutions to improve their community towards health and racial justice.
Lauren Padilla-Valverde, Director, Racial Equity Practice & Culture will oversee organization-wide development of an anti-racist practice to more fully operationalize the foundation’s core values and be in deeper service to the people of California. Since 2009, she has served as Senior Program Manager for the Salinas Valley and Monterey County, California overseeing the grantmaking strategy as part of The Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities initiative. Her grantmaking has centered the application of a healing informed, racial justice lens through an investment in the leadership of those most impacted by inequities. With her leadership, the approach expanded regionally and in 2018 East Salinas BHC launched Toward a Racially Equitable Monterey County, an ecosystem of stakeholders in government, philanthropic, and resident leadership working to deepen racially equity practices central to advancing systems transformation.
Before entering the field of philanthropy, Dr. Padilla-Valverde practiced family medicine and homeless health for 10 years and served as Director of the Joint Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, Master of Public Health Program at Touro University-California. Prior to joining TCE, she was Director of the Joint Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, Master of Public Health Program at Touro University-California. Dr. Padilla-Valverde also served as Senior Health Sciences Analyst for UC Office of the President.
Castle Redmond, J.D., Managing Director: Schools and Central Region will develop policy and funding strategies to transform California’s public-school system, while dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline, and regional strategies for improving health outcomes for residents of the Central Valley and Central Coast of California. Previously, he led The Endowment’s Sons & Brothers Campaign, a statewide policy and funding strategy to improve health outcomes for boys and young men of color and co-led its Advancing Racial Equity initiative, a foundation-wide, anti-racism framework development process.
Dr. Redmond came to The Endowment in 2011 after nine years working as a Program Manager and teacher with the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). At OUSD, he oversaw the City of Oakland’s Juvenile Justice Center Wraparound Strategy and collaborated with Alameda County Probation on reforms to the juvenile justice system. Dr. Redmond also participated in OUSD’s first restorative justice pilot program at Cole Middle School in West Oakland.
Dr. Sandra Witt, Managing Director: Power Infrastructure Statewide will lead the new team collaborating with community and philanthropic partners to grow a statewide power-building infrastructure for transformative change that advances racial and health justice. Dr. Witt has been with The Endowment for nearly 10 years serving as Director, Healthy Communities, North, for the 10-year Building Healthy Communities Initiative. In that capacity, she advanced the vision and strategic direction and supported colleagues in meeting the goals and outcomes of the efforts in Northern California. She served as the co-lead and founder of the internal staff Equity and Inclusion workgroup. Currently, she supports the Advancing Racial Equity internal planning efforts and is co-lead of the internal reorganization process to implement The Endowment’s upcoming Beyond 2020 10-year plan.
Dr. Witt spent 14 years at The Alameda County Public Health Department where she served as an Epidemiologist – Community Researcher, as Director, Community Assessment, Planning, Education and Evaluation Unit, and as Deputy Director, Planning, Policy, and Health Equity. She previously worked for the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa, Canada on international public health initiatives in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
Contact: Jeff Okey at 213.928.8622.
Blue Shield of California Foundation
Ana Jackson, an accomplished leader with more than twenty years in health care program and evaluation management, has been named to the new position of Chief Evaluation and Data Strategy Director at Blue Shield of California Foundation. Ms. Jackson will lead the design and implementation of a system to evaluate and measure the impact and influence of the foundation’s $33 million grantmaking programs. The resulting insights will help ensure that leadership, grantees, and stakeholders have adequate data to support systems change, with the goal of helping the foundation achieve its bold goals and mission.
Most recently, Ms. Jackson spent 11 years serving and leading Kaiser Permanente’s Care Management Institute’s Center for Evaluations & Analytics. She guided comprehensive program evaluations; contributed to continuous improvement efforts; and supported diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
Prior to Kaiser Permanente, Ms. Jackson taught at San Francisco State University’s Department of Public Administration and worked with the University of California-Berkeley’s Center for Cities and Schools, Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California Division of Research, and the City of Berkeley Public Health Department.
Contact: Andrew Kolbenschlag at 415.229.5284.
Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust
The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust announced Omari Richins, currently a community health fellow at the Mat-Su Health Foundation in Alaska, will join the Trust this fall as a Health Improvement in North Carolina Program Officer.
Mr. Richins will join the program team as the Trust focuses on its mission of improving health outcomes for North Carolina residents and works toward thriving communities and residents, equitable access to care, and equitable health outcomes. Specifically, he will work deeply in community, build relationships across sectors, and participate in grantmaking that focuses on improving the health and well-being of residents with low incomes, communities of color, and areas that have been marginalized. He will also support the Trust’s work around Healthy Places NC.
At the Mat-Su Health Foundation, Mr. Richins assisted in managing grants up to $350,000 to respond to community health needs related to COVID-19. He also researched and developed the Mat-Su Youth Homelessness Needs Assessment and managed the evaluation of three public health programs. He developed Photovoice—a community-driven project that gave residents the opportunity to take photos and write captions describing their feelings about health issues—as part of the Mat-Su Borough Community Health Needs Assessment.
Prior to accepting the Mat-Su Health Foundation fellowship, Mr. Richins was the Community Initiatives Assistant Planner for WellFlorida Council Inc. where he researched and developed community health assessments and surveys. He also authored the Rural Health Whitepaper focused on health inequities in rural Florida while serving as the Rural Health Advocacy and Policy Intern at Suwannee River AHEC. In 2019, Mr. Richins created a website, The Public Health Millennial, to build community and dialogue among public health professionals and students.
Contact: Nora Ferrell at 336-705-3955 or email@example.com.
Dr. Lisa Waddell, Dr. Jeffery Koplan, and Dr. Amelie Ramirez
The CDC Foundation named Lisa Waddell, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, a new position for the foundation, created to aid in its COVID-19 emergency response. Dr. Waddell will manage COVID-19 response efforts, including directing the foundation’s team of senior advisors, who are providing support to health departments across the nation, and the COVID-19 Corps surge staff hired as part of the response. Dr. Waddell will serve on the foundation’s executive team.
Dr. Waddell has a long and distinguished career in public health. She joins the CDC Foundation from the March of Dimes, where she served as Deputy Chief Medical and Health Officer and the Senior Vice President for Maternal and Child Health Impact nationwide. Prior to the March of Dimes, Dr. Waddell worked with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials as Chief of Community Health and Prevention. Before this role, she served as deputy commissioner for Health Services for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the state’s public health agency.
She is a member of several professional organizations including the American College of Preventive Medicine, the American Public Health Association, the National Medical Association, and the South Carolina Public Health Association.
In addition, Jeffrey Koplan, MD, MPH, Vice President for Global Health at Emory University, and Amelie Ramirez, DrPH, MPH, Professor and Chair of the Department of Population Health Sciences and director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio, have each been elected to a five-year term on the board of directors of the CDC Foundation.
Dr. Koplan is a former director and 26-year veteran of the CDC. He began his public health career in the early 1970s as a member of CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service. He has worked on virtually every major public health issue, including infectious diseases such as smallpox and HIV/AIDS, environmental issues such as the Bhopal chemical disaster, and the health toll of tobacco and chronic diseases around the globe. From 1994 to 1998, he pursued his interest in enhancing the interactions between clinical medicine and public health by leading the Prudential Center for Health Care Research, a nationally recognized health services research organization.
Dr. Koplan founded the Emory Global Health Institute in 2006 and served as its director until March 2013 and continues his involvement as the university’s vice president for Global Health. He is Co-founder of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes, co-investigator of the Emory Global Health Institute’s Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance network and chairs the Wellcome Trust’s Independent Review Panel of its Clinical Data Sharing Program. In addition, Dr. Koplan is a trustee of the China Medical Board and a former trustee of Yale University and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Dr. Ramirez is an internationally recognized health disparities researcher at UT Health San Antonio, where she is Professor and Chair of the Department of Population Health Sciences andDirector of the Institute for Health Promotion Research. She has 30 years of experience conducting behavioral and communications projects to reduce cancer, increase screening rates and clinical trial participation, prove the efficacy of patient navigation for cancer patients, prevent tobacco use and improve healthy lifestyles among U.S. Latinos.
She currently directs the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded Salud America! national multimedia program to empower its vast network of 300,000 community leaders to drive healthy policy and system changes to promote health equity and support for Latino families.
Dr. Ramirez also conducts breast cancer disparities research on quality of life and survivorship issues, and directs Quitxt, a bilingual tobacco-cessation service for young Latino adults using mobile-phone text messages, funded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. She has trained/mentored more than 250 Latinos in health fields, and leads the National Cancer Institute-funded Éxito! training program to help master’s-level students and professionals pursue a doctoral degree and research career focused on Latino cancer.
She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, a member of the National Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, a Susan G. Komen Scholar, and is on the prize jury for the Fries Prize for Improving Health Award and the Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award. Dr. Ramirez has been recognized by the White House Champion of Change, American Public Health Association’s K. Everett M. Rogers Award, CentroMed’s Icons in Healthcare Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Behavioral Medicine. She also is Board President of The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas.
Contact: Amy Tolchinsky at 404.523.3486 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Megan Wilbur, Jaye Salter, and Brian Tiefenbrun
Mat-Su Health Foundation
The Mat-Su Health Foundation announced that Megan Wilbur has joined the R.O.C.K. Mat-Su team as Systems Coordinator. In addition, it also promoted Jaye Salter, and Brian Tiefenbrun.
Ms. Wilbur will help drive R.O.C.K. Mat-Su’s strategic work forward by supporting day-to-day communications and administration, community engagement, and data functions, as well as for building and maintaining strong relationships with community partners. R.O.C.K. Mat-Su is a collaborative of community members who have joined together to promote family resilience and reduce child maltreatment. Ms. Wilbur came to R.O.C.K. Mat-Su from the University of Alaska Anchorage where she was a Student Conduct and Ethical Development Coordinator.
Mr. Tiefenbrun was promoted to Operations Coordinator for Connect Mat-Su, a comprehensive and innovative health and social services information and referral resource center serving all residents of Mat-Su. In his new position, he maintains, updates, and refines the network’s resource database and website integration. Previously, Mr. Tiefenbrun served as Connect Mat-Su’s Community Resource Center Specialist. Prior to that, he worked as an investigator for the State of Alaska, Office of Children’s Services. Mr. Tiefenbrun is a veteran of the U.S. Army and has also worked at North Star Behavioral Health.
Ms. Salter was promoted to full time Administrative Assistant for the Mat-Su Health Foundation where she will serve as receptionist and provide clerical and administrative support for the organization. Ms. Salter brings a wealth of experience from customer-facing positions across a range of industries.
Contact: Robin Minard at 907.250.6445 or email@example.com.